The Bear Valley Ski-O will feature full USOF-length courses (nearly double the length of past courses), using an upgraded version of the Bear Valley map originally made by Mike Poulsen. Each course uses ski trails, so nobody has the advantage of following someone else's ski tracks, but the courses are differentiated by orienteering and skiing skills.
The beginner (White) and advanced beginner (Yellow) courses are on beginning ski trails with minimal route choice (more route choice and distance for the advanced beginner course). The intermediate and advanced courses are a motala of three laps. Intermediate orienteers do just the first lap (Orange course) on intermediate trails. Short-distance advanced orienteers do the first and second lap (second lap is the Green course on easier expert trails). Long distance advanced orienteers do all three laps (last lap is the Black'n'Blue course on difficult expert trails).
There will also be a Start-O course for young children, hopefully utilizing a new more adventuresome area.
Never tried Ski-O? It's easy! You use a map, compass, and cross-country skis (or snowshoes) to find controls on point-to-point courses. We show you how to do it in free beginner clinics, and then you do the easy course on your own or in a group. If you finish early, do a more challenging course to increase your fun. We have courses for young children, beginners, advanced beginners, intermediates, advanced, and expert ski orienteers. After doing your course, buy a warm drink at the cafe and compare what you did with others while watching competitors race in to finish laps, pick up maps for other laps, and race off for increasingly difficult courses.
Starts are between 10:00 am and noon. You get up to four hours to complete your course, but you must finish by 4:00 pm.
Course Description (tentative) ------------ -------------------------------------- Start-O Very easy course for kids within sight of parents. White Easy navigation and skiing for beginners (2km). All you need to do is take a beginner's clinic and know how the basics of skiing. Yellow Easy skiing with route choices for advanced beginners (3.5km). If you have plenty of strength after doing the White course, you can do this course. Orange Intermediate trails with route choices (~8km). If you normally ski intermediate trails and have some experience reading orienteering maps, you should be able to do this course. Green Orange course plus 8km of easier expert trails and fast route choices (total ~16km). Everyone who did long courses in previous years at Bear Valley should be able to do this course. Black'n'Blue Green course (including the Orange course) (Blue) plus ~8km of expert trails with demanding route choices (total ~24km). Many might try but few will be able to compete on this course. You must be able to ski expert trails with steep hills.The Orange, Green, and Black'n'Blue courses are a motala. Everyone does the first lap, which is an intermediate lap. Green and Black'n'Blue participants continue on to a second lap on trails requiring more advanced skiing and route-choice skills. A few expert ski orienteers will do the third lap for the Black'n'Blue course.
What do you do if you encounter a hill too steep for your skiing skills? Do what Wyatt Riley does - take your skis off and run or walk until you feel it is safe to ski again. It is legal to do that in ski orienteering so long as you carry your skis with you.
Awards will be given to the top three male and female finishers for each course as soon as the placings are known (probably around 2:00 pm).
Bear Valley (100 meters to 1 mile from registration) Base Camp Lodge $27/person or $65/room for 2 night minimum. 209-753-6556 Bear Valley Lodge 209-753-2700 Tamarak Pines 1 room for 2-3 people, $90 to $105. 209-753-2080 Tamarak Resort call early, $75 for 2-person rooms. 209-753-2001 Bear Valley Real Estate cabin rentals. 209-753-2334 Arnold (26-mile drive to Bear Valley) Timberline Lodge $59 to $150/night for 2-8 people. 209-795-1053 Ebbetts Pass Lodge $64/night for 2 night minimum, kitchenettes. 209-795-1563 Mountain Retreat $150 for one night or $125/night for two plus nights for up to 8 people in 1100-1200 square-foot chateaus with kitchens. Includes use of indoor pool, etc. Call Cindy at RCI Timeshares, 925-838-7780. Fry Vacation Rentals cabin rentals. 209-795-4094 Powderbears Accomodations cabin rentals. 209-753-2136 Lodge at Manuel Mill $102-$105 for 2-person rooms. 209-795-2622 Angels Camp (47-mile drive to Bear Valley) Angels Inn Motel ~$65/night. 209-736-4242 Gold Country Inn ~$50/night. 209-736-4611
Scarborough Orienteering, 510-530-3050
Berman's Orienteering Supply, 617-868-7416